What is the maximum That You Will Spend on Building a Model And Has This Ever Gone Past Your Limit?

46 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

I am just wondering what you guys think is the limit to spend when building a model car or light truck? For guys that build big rigs, I ask the same, but please specify what type of model you are referring to. And dioramas - that's a whole different kind of build but let's look at those as well. I know that a diorama can be years in completing and I am not so sure that there is never room for improvement or that one more detail just to add realism.

Have you ever gotten into a project and gone far past where you intended to as far as spending goes? Sometimes, it is hard to resist adding those extra little details, but it's more often than not, the little things and details that really make a model outstanding. As with painting a real 1:1 vehicle, nice paint can only look so good, but it is when you start doing the little extras that a project really begins to stand out from the crowd.

I know that with building just a model car or pickup, it is not at all impossible to spend in excess of a hundred dollars on one including the price of the kit and shipping if you buy on line. Then you may need another kit to serve as a donor for interior parts or engine parts or wheels, etc. that your parts box doesn't have. Add the paint and other detailing items and this can be a very gratifying but somewhat expensive hobby unless you build right out of the box and leave it at that. These are questions that I am sure some of us wonder when we look at many if not most of the builds on the forums. Inquiring minds want to know.... :):D

Edited by impcon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'm sure you will get bunches of different answers here... We've all experienced a real budget buster at some point in our modeling lives. I can't speak for anyone but myself; as for me, I rarely even consider "budget" when building. You have to understand that I pretty much only build BIG stuff, which in itself "busts" many modelers budget....The price of the large tamiya kits has skyrocketed with every re-release, but that's what I like to build, so no choice really. Once you start adding on P/E sets, billet wheels, and all the other widgets, you have spent a few $$$. I also work primarily with automotive paints; which by far "bust" the normal spray bomb budget (these products have skyrocketed recently as well) and I can tell you that paying nearly $100 for a pint of custom mix basecoat is not unusual. Many guys will say that's crazy, and blah-blah-blah. but that's what it costs to do it the way I like to. For me the formula is pretty simple; If I want to build it; I build it, period....that's what I do. I think many modelers focus TOO much on cost.... For the money I spend, it's hard to find any other hobby that gives me the amount of enjoyment I get back out of it; and that's my CBA approach to my models..................Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I tend to watch my costs a little on the kits themselves. Usually not more than about $40 for a kit. To me, most kits are just not worth more than that. I've had good luck on Ebay, though getting glue bombs, or ones that were partially started but not mangled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

the way I look at it, most all hobbies can be expensive, I have friends who have spend thousands to be able to kill a turkey or deer, or catch a fish, I personally don't hunt or fish, so what ever it cost's me to be able to do what I enjoy and want to achieve with a model is just the cost of my hobby, I don't really have a limit, just what I can or cannot afford I guess, plus I can do my hobby year round, no $30,000 bass boat sitting in the drive all winter :huh: just my 2 cents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Kit, paint, glue, thought , effort, procrastination, Oooo, look at this new kit (finish that other one later) = about $30

DSCF0015-3.jpgDSCF0007-3.jpgDSCF0048.jpg

Edited by Greg Myers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

No budget as the sky is the limit! I just figure I keep on buying stuff till the job is over with. For paint and clear now the basecoat paint has gone up $2 oz for reds and yellows starting this month and clear gone up $4 more on top of it. So I look at friday just for the red for a car i'm doing was $56 for 8oz of red and $147 for a qt of clear, but the clear will last a year or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I'll bet most of us don't count! If you were new to the hobby and had no kits or supplies, and went to a hobby shop to get a kit and the supplies to build it, the cost would be high, since the full price of putty, glue and every paint you used would be added to the cost of that one kit. But most of us are on a constant build and consider the supplies part of the hobby, as they get used across several kits.

I'm at the point in the hobby, after 25 years, that I have tons of parts kits bought cheap at shows and club meetings over the years. So I'm not running out to buy a $25 kit for an engine or set of wheels. I have enough stuff that I'll find something that will work in my hoard.

There are times I'm at a hobby shop and just stock up on different Evergreen pieces, like several sizes of round rod, just to have on hand. A few years ago I was at Ollies and they had the large cans of Duplicolor for $1 a can. I bought 25 cans, and have used a lot of that since.

Some supplies last for years. For instance some of my stash of parts like Evergreen are 20 years old. Every so often a piece or two gets used on a project, but I'm pretty much set for life. Years ago I bought 4 Testors acrylic paint bottles in the colors needed to follow Irvin Arter's wood graining tutorial. Lets say I spent $20 to do the wood grain on my Beverly Hills Hornet model. But I've since used the same technique and paints on another five or so models! And the bottles are still near full. So the eventual cost per model may be a dollar or two for wood grain.

Still, I won't hesitate to buy the supplies needed to build the image in my head. I don't compromise. If I need a specific bit of Evergreen, I get in the car and drive to the hobby shop. If I'm trying to replicate a certain red, I'll buy a few cans until I get one that sprays the correct tone. I know I'll use those other colors sooner or later.

And I do own a lot of old expensive kits and resin. Funny thing is that when you look at my finished models and even my builds in progress, most everything was built from current or cheap kits. Trivia - My favorite build, my Pyrite's Paddler truck seen in my avatar, started out as a $2.99 close out kit from the Child World chain. My current project, the Dodge Van Camper, is made completely from scrap and bits. So I'm a cheap date!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I look at the cost of this hobby more like Tom has mentioned above. Individual builds are built using supplies I have gathered over the many years I have been doing this. Buying kits for the stash is really where I blow the budget because there are just so many great kits available now. It is almost a panic when I see a kit that I would really like to build come out. If I don't grab one when it is new or re-issued I may not get the chance again for a long time. Often I have waited on buying a kit to control the budget but regret it later when I want to build it because often the only option is to buy one online at over inflated prices.

It would be interesting to run a cost sheet on each build to get an idea of how much $ goes into them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I refuse to spend more than the cost of a movie! Lets see, a movie is about $15 for an hour and a half and the average model takes about 50 hours to complete. Thats about $500. :lol: Really, that is pretty cheap considering other past times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

i build it until it is done and done to my satisfaction even if it means it sits for a year at a time. whats the hurry? its not like this is work or something. relax and do a good job or you (i at least) will regret it later. thats the wisdom that age brings. i always laugh at these people who do "24 hour builds" because when i look at the product all i can think is its a shame the person did it fast instead of doing it right and most times the rush is apparent in the finished product. my philosophy in many things is if you cant take the time to do it right, dont do it at all. used to bug the hell out of my coworkers whose programs got done fast and then they spent the rest of their careers making endless bug fixes when with some preplanning (and following through on the plan...duh) they could have produced some stable software that you didnt need to mess with anymore.

and thats my rant for sunday morning.

edit: now in going back and rereading maybe the point is expense? thats even more ridiculous if you ask me. think about how much money you spend on other things...real cars for one. a hundred bucks for a kit plus more to upgrade it is pretty much dirt in comparison. i always laugh when i read people saying they have to shop at walmart to make ends meet...thats a sign youre in real trouble and you probably shouldnt be building models to begin with then if your finances are so weak. i spend on a model whatever i want to spend on it; there is always more money coming down the pike if you want it...another lesson age has taught me. a couple hundred dollars over the course of a few months isnt the end of the world.

Edited by jbwelda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

i shop at walmart so i can use my 40% coupon at hobby lobby.

the poor man always brags how rich he once was, and the rich man how poor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

If I had a REAL idea how much I spend on any of this stuff, I'm sure I'd be horrified and it would wreck my enjoyment of the hobby. Sometimes ignorance is indeed bliss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I just recently purchased my first aftermarket part from Scale Dreams, a skull shifter for $1.50. Besides paint, glue and an assortment of styrene, usually just the cost of the kit. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I've paid anywhere from $2 to $500 for kits. Although the chance I will actually build a $500 kit is extremely unlikely. ( sold the $500 kit btw ) Most I have in any one kit today is about $125-$150 range. But I also collect dealer promotionals as well,And they'll put a dent it the wallet quite deep . But thats another post altogether.

Back when I did contests , I used to build models using lots of aftermkt pieces. There for could easily tip the $100 and up on builds

But now and for the most part outside of the costs of the kit itself and basic suppiles , ( paint and supplies along with some aftermkt decals on a few ) I rarely spend much more than the kits costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

My last project was a diorama of a 50 chevy pickup. I figured with all the supplies I bought I had $100 tied up in it, and a years worth of enjoyment. Seems kinda cheap to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

most kits i build box stock so it is basically kit, glue and paint. I really try not to buy outside of michaels or hobby lobby with the coupons. recently i "splurged" on a Hasegawa 250 Testa Rossa, i think it was $48, I plan on getting the wheel kits, $30-45ish, and the other pe kit for that car, also $30-45ish, so all told I would be in that one about $135 before paint. I feel the kit warrants the extra money i am looking to spend on it. Now, that being said, I would never spend that kind of scratch on a Monogram 64 Mustang even though that is also a nice kit. I also just picked up the Tamiya Enzo for $33 but have no aspirations of extra detail parts on it....... Yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Ok, I had my fun with the movie comment, so here is the real deal. I have easily spent over $1,000 on a finished kit. It really isn't that hard and I am sure most of you would appreciate the end result. I have also purchased thousands of dollars on tools. Not hard to do when you buy from Sherline! With few exceptions none of this was done by walking into a show room and ploping a hand full of $100 bills on the table. It is all done a little at a time. My work bench is full of special purpose tools that don't get used frequently, but when they are, it is the only thing that will do the job. I have stacks of raw materials, plastic, brass and aluminum waiting to hit the lathe. Boxes of paint and other finishing products fill every nook and cranny of the shop. The cost of the kit and the aftermarket bits are just a starting point. I really enjoy my hobby, but the stuff I have to do the job has been accumulated over 30 years, including the hundreds of kits I have stacked on the shelf. Overall cost? Doesn't really matter. I didn't buy it all at once, just a little at a time. Value in peace of mind and pride in a job well done, immeasurable. If cost is a major factor in your life, get what will give you the most happyness for the buck. Don't buy something just because it is cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

i always laugh at these people who do "24 hour builds" because when i look at the product all i can think is its a shame the person did it fast instead of doing it right

I will spend a lot of time on my builds. Some of my unfinished projects are 20 years old! But I did the 24 Hour Build on-line this year with Gary Kulchuck and others just for the fun of it. I took the Miss Deal Funny Car, a model I had several of and always wanted to build, and went for it. I learned an awful lot in those 24 hours. First, we don't realize how much prep work we do on the average kit. I had started at noon and by six pm I only had primed parts to show for my efforts. And that was working continuous at a fair clip. In the evening, I got the body in color and the now painted chassis (I used mainly Duplicolor to dry quickly) together and up on wheels. I still tried to maintain a good degree of quality. I screwed some stuff up and redid it. That cost me time! By five am I had the whole car done enough to call it quits. It still needed some details like adding headers, a rear push bar and some other stuff. That was at the point where I was so tired that I wasn't focusing right and was dropping things. So I called it done.

Aside from doing this as a challenge and having fun with some buddies across North America (yes, Canadians were involved) I learned some things about my building. Since then I notice that I work a bit more systematically and am getting more done in an evening. I did the build solo at my house and communicated with everyone else (Gary and Bobby Boggs had several guys at their homes) every time I'd stop to post some progress shots on their Facebook site. Next year I may try to get a couple of recruits here at my house for the fun!

IMG_2956-vi.jpg

My Miss Led funny car at the conclusion of the 24 hr build. I spent some more time on it since and will publish the finished model later.

Edited by Tom Geiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Depends on the subject and how bad I want it. I've spent well over $100 on some resin builds, and as little as $15 when a kit was found in tne checkered box or on a 40% discount week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I have two projects on hold right now that are up to 1000.00 in parts, paint work, resin, machined aluminum and decals. If it makes me happy, I don't get too concerned about cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I don't have any kind of budget that I am set on but it's pretty likely I would never spend the kind of money it takes to invest in a Pocher kit and the almost neccessary associated detail kit that it would take to build it the way it should be built. ALTHOUGH, I would easily spend the money it takes to purchase things like the Sherline mills and lathes if I could afford it because I could use them for a lot of other things than model building. I'm a Master Automotive Technician for a living so I am kind of a tool junky and have no problem spending a LOT of money for quality tools. Read that as "the Snap-On dealer owns me".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Building in 1:24/1:25 Scale

Personally, I'm very cost focused when it comes to my builds. I can't afford to think outside the box since I'm the only one working (at all) while my G/F finishes school.

Once their is 2 incomes coming in, I'll start splurging more. Until then, I can't see spending anymore that $30 on the actual Model and no more than $25 for paint and such.

Of course, on the flip side, their are NO Hobby Stores even close to me that have a wide array of model building supplies (styrene and such). So, in a sense thats a plus for me otherwise I a budget would be no concern.

Moral of my situation: If I REALLY want it, I will buy it. If I doubt what I want in anyway, I pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

List most others, I don't have any pre-set limit. And the most I've ever spent on one kit (the kit plus aftermarket detail items) was about $1,000. That's just the kit and the aftermarket parts alone... I don't count supplies like paint, glue, sandpaper, X-acto blades, etc., as that is all just general supplies that are used on all kits, and an ongoing expense as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

All depends on who, and what it is for, $25 to $200, I use to race circle track,,and modeling is a few hundred cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Kit, paint, glue, thought , effort, procrastination, Oooo, look at this new kit (finish that other one later) = about $30

DSCF0015-3.jpgDSCF0007-3.jpgDSCF0048.jpg

Wow!!! you just described me to a T!!! B)

As for me and a budget, I spend whatever it takes to build the model.

Edited by Custom Hearse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now